The new and unbeaten champs from Airport Park
Airport Park was cleared for takeoff and soared to the gold medal in the NW La. District Senior Olympics Bean Bag Baseball competition. As part of opening ceremonies and the health fair at Horseshoe Casino’s Riverdome, the Park team knocked off the Krewe of Elders in the championship, 15-12, completing a perfect flight.
A three-run triple by Shelia Hunter in the bottom of the fourth inning brought Airport back into the lead at 14-11 and a home run by Willie May Joiner in the bottom of the fifth provided insurance. Richard Skyles hit a home run in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough for the Elders, who won the gold medal in 2011.
Airport Park ran off three victories, including one over the Krewe, on March 24 to reach the championship unbeaten. The Krewe of Elders came through the losers’ bracket by beating the Silver Sluggers to survive, 12-9. That gave the Krewe a 4-1 mark and meant they had to defeat Airport twice if they wished to repeat as champs. The Silver Sluggers finished at 3-2 and claimed the bronze medal.
In an ironic twist, the Silver Sluggers beat the Young Guns to reach the losers’ bracket final against the Krewe. The Sluggers-Guns match pitted a mother (Lessie Cooperrider of the Sluggers) against her daughters (Frances Bertrand and Margie Bamburg of the Young Guns). That score was 24-19. It marked the second year in a row that the Young Guns were eliminated from the tournament by the Silver Sluggers. Peggy Massey and Cooperrider hit last inning home runs to secure the win.
A total of 14 teams entered the event. Airport Park brushed aside the Beanie Boppers in what appeared to be an upset in the early rounds and then beat Glory Bound II and the Krewe of Elders in reaching the final round which will be staged as part of the Opening Ceremony and Senior Olympics Health Fair in the Horseshoe Casino Riverdome April 18.